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Rescooped by Tanya Benton from Australian Indigenous Education - Centre for Aboriginal Studies
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How community-based innovation can help Australia close the Indigenous gap

How community-based innovation can help Australia close the Indigenous gap | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Across Indigenous Australia, innovation is occurring locally, under the radar of government policies and support. We can look to this innovation and stop fixating on finding the elusive policy solution.

Via Kim Flintoff
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Case Closed: There's Nothing Wrong With Genetically Modified Crops

Despite all the anti-GM crops theatrics, anti-capitalist bias and opposition to empirical science, nothing substantive has been produced that would dissuade most farmers from using genetically engineered seeds. Particularly when GM crops are designed to resist pests, require less fertilizer or water, and are more bountiful than conventional crops – or some combination of these.

As a result, the use of GM seeds is growing exponentially. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said this year’s corn harvest will be the biggest on record, some 14 billion bushels, and fully 98 percent of this output will be from GM seeds.

Farmers in developed countries aren’t the only ones taking advantage of GM crops. This year, for the first time in the nearly 20 years that GM crops have been available, farmers in developing countries have planted more acres with GM seeds – 52 percent of the global total, according to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications -- than their counterparts in developed nations.

 

U.S. farmers planted the most GM crops last year, but China, India, Brazil, Argentina and South Africa, which together account for some 40 percent of the world’s population, grew 46 percent of global biotech crops in 2012.

Perhaps the greatest factor spurring the use of GM crops is the dire need for food in the world, a situation that is worsening literally by the day. By 2050 the world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion, nearly 30 percent higher than today. To feed that population, more food will have to be grown over the next 50 years than has been grown in the last 10,000 years combined, according to Henrylito Tacio, East Asia contributing editor for PeopleAndThePlanet.com.

In certain countries, like Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, where starvation is endemic, GM crops can make a huge difference right now, according to the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

“Donor countries, as part of their broader food security and development aid, can support countries’ efforts to pursue GM technology by providing scientific and technical assistance to scientists and regulators,” CSIS said in a statement. Meeting the planet’s growing food needs without genetically modifying the seeds will be virtually impossible, considering the challenges to traditional crops from global warming, drought, water shortages, and new strains of diseases and pests. Indeed, the use of pesticides to protect conventional crops are a double-edged sword because they often destroy many of the plants that they are meant to save.

GM foods are supported by a long list of established medical and scientific organizations, including the National Academies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Medical Association, the European Commission, the Royal Society, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Last year the European Union’s chief scientist, Anne Glover, publicly endorsed the safety of such foods. “The bottom line for me is that there is no more risk in GMO food than conventionally farmed food. It has nothing to do with genetic engineering, so if you decide that you want to implement the regulations in such a way that you want to prevent the use [of GMO food], then that has to be talked about, and people need to be clear why you have rejected it,” Glover said.

This week another blow was delivered to GM food opponents. The journal Food and Chemical Toxicology retracted a widely influential 2012 article that purported to establish a link between genetically modified maize and cancer. It turns out the study just wasn’t credible after all.

All of which means that there really is less controversy surrounding GM crops than it seems – a lot of noise, to be sure -- but little question about which side is right.  

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Disability and climate change | CBM International

Disability and climate change | CBM International | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Climate change has the greatest impact on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, a significant proportion of whom are people with disabilities
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Apple Environmental Report: Carbon Footprint Down 3%, 145 U.S. ...

Apple Environmental Report: Carbon Footprint Down 3%, 145 U.S. ... | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Apple notes that its carbon footprint from energy use has dropped by 31 percent from fiscal 2011 to fiscal 2013, even though energy consumption has increased by 44 percent. The company also recalculated its 2012 ...
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UK shale gas viability check will take five years, says Cuadrilla boss ...

UK shale gas viability check will take five years, says Cuadrilla boss ... | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent. theguardian.com, Friday 31 January 2014 07.13 EST. Jump to comments (…) Lord Browne of Madingley, former chief of BP and now chairman of Cuadrilla. Photograph: Dan Chung for The Guardian.
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Christopher Pyne appoints critics of school curriculum to review system | smh.com.au

Christopher Pyne appoints critics of school curriculum to review system | smh.com.au | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
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Global carbon emissions set to reach new high : Renew Economy

Global carbon emissions set to reach new high : Renew Economy | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Report says global man-made CO2 emissions set to rise by a further 2.1% in 2013, on the way to record high of 36 billion tonnes.
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Ninti One: CRC-REP Logo Story

The Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation's logo is based on the painting 'Two Women Learning', created by Aboriginal artist Kathleen...
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Engaging in urban education

Engaging in urban education | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Education activist Delana Ivey, featured in NUVO's July 10, 2013 cover story, is helping to organize a Nov. 9 "to broaden the conversation about education" through workshops, art and play.
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Don't Let Your Kids Suffer From "Nature Deficit Disorder"

Don't Let Your Kids Suffer From "Nature Deficit Disorder" | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
The absence of nature in early years has been linked to a loss of emotional and physical well-being, impaired social skills, poor memory and declining academic performance, to name a few. My son will turn six years old next month.
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Mystery Aussie Samantha Azzopardi on her way home to Australia

Mystery Aussie Samantha Azzopardi on her way home to Australia | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
AUSTRALIAN tourist Samanatha Azzopardi is returning home after the High Court in Dublin ruled she was mentally fit to leave Ireland.
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Making room for girls

Making room for girls | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
IN THIS week's print edition we look at an important issue in development economics: how to reduce the gap between the number of girls and boys being educated...
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The GMO Seed Cartel - How biotechnology companies monopolize global seed markets

The GMO Seed Cartel - How biotechnology companies monopolize global seed markets | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

February 01, 2014 The Organic & Non-GMO Report

The introduction of genetically modified crops has corresponded with increasing monopolization of seed by biotechnology companies and higher seed costs that have led to tragedies in some countries, while pushing out conventional, non-GMO seeds, and reducing farmer seed choices. These impacts are being seen in the United States, Brazil, India, the Philippines, and South Africa, and even Europe. http://www.non-gmoreport.com/articles/february2013/the-gmo-seed-cartel.php

 

February 5, 2012 BIG AG CORPORATE-SPONSORED RESEARCH - ARE UNIVERSITIES UNDERCUTTING THEIR OWN RESEARCHERS? Cornucopia Institute http://www.cornucopia.org/2013/02/in-standing-up-for-big-ag-are-universities-undercutting-their-own-researchers/

 

THE SEED PATENT GAME: Do Seed Companies Control GM Crop Research? http://www.scoop.it/t/agriculture-gmos-pesticides/p/946593435/the-seed-patent-game-do-seed-companies-control-gm-crop-research-scientific-american

 

Jan 18, 2013 THE GMO KILL - ,MONSANTO'S GMO PATENTED SEEDS WANT TO RULE THE WORLD http://www.scoop.it/t/agriculture-gmos-pesticides/p/3995255998/monsanto-s-gmo-patented-seeds-want-to-rule-the-world-the-gmo-kill

 

>>>>>>>  CONTROL OF GLOBAL SEED BUSINESS REVEALED - Corporate Ethics Watch International http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15489

 

THE GLOBAL CHEMICAL BIOTECH CARTEL - AN UNPRECEDENTED POWER OVER WORLD GOOD SUPPLY http://www.scoop.it/t/agriculture-gmos-pesticides/p/1716244040/the-global-chemical-biotech-cartel-an-unprecedented-power-over-world-agriculture-and-human-health

 

GENETIC ENGINEERING AND THE GMO INDUSTRY: CORPORATE HIJACKING OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE http://www.scoop.it/t/agriculture-gmos-pesticides/p/3994750421/corporate-hijacking-of-food-and-agriculture-genetic-engineering-and-the-gmo-industry

 

 


Via pdjmoo, Arun Shrivastava, Sepp Hasslberger
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Arun Shrivastava's curator insight, February 12, 2013 1:24 AM

A number of vital summary here. It is in your interest that you understand the key issues and get to the bottom of what is going on. AND TAKE ACTION.

 

The plan is to control food in such a manner that accessibility to food no more remains your right. That fundamental right has been undermined already; all that remains is a formal announcement. In India, UPA-II under Man Mohan Singh is directly responsible for this situation. That's why I have been consistently writing that this Government should be charged with treason.

 

Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, February 12, 2013 5:54 AM

This is a hugely important issue.

 

The outcome of the struggle between commercial and genetically modified seeds on the one hand and the age-old tradition of farmers saving their own seed and exchanging with neighbors on the other concerns us all. 

 

Our future food security depends utterly on the second option winning over the first.

Check out Vandana Shiva's video. Saving seeds from big AG http://vimeo.com/59404290
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U.S. Forced to Import Corn as Shoppers Demand Organic Food

U.S. Forced to Import Corn as Shoppers Demand Organic Food | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

  A growing demand for organics, and the near-total reliance by U.S. farmers on genetically modified corn and soybeans, is driving a surge in imports from other nations where crops largely are free of bioengineering.

Imports such as corn from Romania and soybeans from India are booming, according to an analysis of U.S. trade data released Wednesday by the Organic Trade Association and Pennsylvania State University.

That shows a potential market for U.S. growers willing to avoid the use of artificial chemicals and genetically modified seeds, said Laura Batcha, chief executive officer of the association, which includes Whole Foods Market Inc., Whitewave Foods Co. and Earthbound Farm LLC.

 

The report is “a help-wanted sign” for U.S. farmers, Batcha said. “There are market distortions that are pretty striking.”

Most of the corn and soybean shipments become feed for chickens and cows so they can be certified organic under U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. Organic poultry and dairy operators shun feed made with seeds from Monsanto Co. and other domestic suppliers in favor of foreign products even as the U.S. remains the world’s top grower of corn and soybeans.

As a result, imports to the U.S. of Romanian corn rose to $11.6 million in 2014 from $545,000 the year before. Soybean imports from India more than doubled to $73.8 million.

Rapid Growth

Sales of foods certified by the U.S. as free of synthetic chemicals or genetic engineering reached $35.9 billion in 2014, an 11 percent increase over 2013 and about 5.1 percent of U.S. grocery spending. The organic sector’s average annual growth of about 10 percent is triple that of overall food sales, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture and trade association data.

Rising consumer demand in what’s been a niche market is creating shortages, pushing companies that supply farms needing organic feed to seek out foreign sources.

About 90 percent of U.S. corn and soy is bioengineered, thus automatically ineligible for the organic label.

Just north of the Minnesota-Iowa border, on a dirt road closed to heavy truck traffic by the late-spring mud, Hy View Feeds has seen its sales quadruple since winning organic certification a decade ago. Unlike nearby conventional feed stores that buys mostly from suppliers within a half-hour drive, Hy View gets some from Canada, more than 500 miles from its Mabel headquarters, to make up for domestic shortages.

Limited Data

“It’s a market that not everyone is going to get into because it’s done on a different scale,” said Kit VandeMark, owner and founder of Hy View, which categorizes its feeds as conventional, organic and non-GMO. “So we end up with both buyers and sellers from a broader area.”

The USDA only began collecting data on organic crops in 2011. Most of what’s tracked is fresh produce and major grains - - processed foods and meats, for example, aren’t reported in an organic category.

The four years of records show rapidly growing trade relationships. In 2014, U.S. organic exports were $553 million, almost quadruple the 2011 total. Imports last year were $1.28 billion, led by $332.5 million of organic coffee.

Imports of two crops, corn and soybeans, that also are the leading U.S. exports underscore gaps in the market, said Miles McEvoy, deputy administrator of the USDA’s National Organic Program.

Romania, China

Soybeans are the second-biggest U.S. organic import, with $184 million shipped last year. India is the No. 1 source, followed by China. For corn, with overall sales of $35.7 million in 2014, Romania is the biggest seller to the U.S., followed by Turkey, the Netherlands and Canada.

The totals are tiny compared with the combined $92.7 billion value of the two crops last year. That also means that the domestic market could easily meet organic needs, McEvoy said. In reality, U.S. farming isn’t structured to meet some of its highest-dollar consumers’ needs, he said.

“There just hasn’t been enough development of the organic feed supply in the U.S.,” he said. Organic-foods certifiers are in short supply in some regions, he said.

A requirement that all organic farms be free of non-organic seeds and chemicals for three years means farmers give up profit before gaining any price benefit. Recent high prices that fed record farm profits also gave growers less reason to switch, he said.

Organic Prices

“If there were a market incentive for more people to produce organic corn, there would be more of it,” said Paul Bertels, vice president for production and utilization with the National Corn Growers Association in St. Louis. Even though organic corn is selling for about $12.50 a bushel, more than triple the cash price for regular corn, lower yields and the three-year transition period makes GMO- and synthetics-free grain not worth the risk, he said.

“It’s not worth the headache or the cost” for most producers, he said.

In some cases, nations where farming is less industrial are seizing the advantage. Genetically modified seeds are largely absent from Romania and Ukraine, putting their farmers closer to organic certification for sales in the U.S., McEvoy said.

Still, as commodity prices tumble and growers seek higher profit margins, U.S. farmers may seek out more organic acreage, said Lynn Clarkson, founder of Clarkson Grain Co. in Cerro Gordo, Illinois.

“With the markets at break-even prices for many farmers, we’re seeing more interest in organic land,” he said. “I’m not predicting a tidal wave, but I’m seeing twice as much interest in this as I have in the past.”

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Climate change may disrupt global food system within a decade, World Bank says

Climate change may disrupt global food system within a decade, World Bank says | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
The world is headed “down a dangerous path” with disruption of the food system possible within a decade as climate change undermines the ability of nations to feed themselves, according to a senior World Bank official.
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Free Carbon Footprint Calculator | The Nature Conservancy

Free Carbon Footprint Calculator | The Nature Conservancy | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
What's your carbon footprint? Use The Nature Conservancy's carbon footprint calculator to measure your impact on our climate. (Find out what your carbon footprint is?
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Aid cuts make Australia 'a less generous nation'

Aid cuts make Australia 'a less generous nation' | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
In 2014, the Australian foreign aid budget will decrease for the first time in thirteen years. What does this mean for partners, beneficiaries and the country’s short- and long-term humanitarian commitments?
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foreignaid20.1.14.php

foreignaid20.1.14.php | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Sight Magazine - News from a Christian Perspective. Sight is an Australian news website with a Christian focus, updated daily with news stories, lifestyle, opinion, reviews, blogs, columns and more!
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Materialism: a system that eats us from the inside out

Materialism: a system that eats us from the inside out | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
George Monbiot: Materialism is associated with depression, anxiety and broken relationships. It is socially destructive and self-destructive
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Dotted layers of tradition

Dotted layers of tradition | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
IT was mid-April 2003 when a young researcher named Judy Lovell first met Kathleen Kemarre Wallace, the best-known artist of Santa Teresa community just south of Alice Springs.
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Budgetary nihilism: Deferring foreign aid signals a distorted moral vision – Opinion – ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Budgetary nihilism: Deferring foreign aid signals a distorted moral vision – Opinion – ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
What other than political nihilism could account for the moral obstinacy of diverting foreign aid to help cover a perceived budgetary shortfall?
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Supply Chain Sustainability: The New Frontier - Forbes

Supply Chain Sustainability: The New Frontier - Forbes | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Supply Chain Sustainability: The New Frontier
Forbes
Peruvian coffee farmer Maria Eufemia Madonado Ocaño holds a leaf from a coffee tree on her farm that is infected with rust. “My coffee was beautiful,” she said.
Tanya Benton's insight:

I think I 'need' a coffee

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Toys “R” Us says: “Nature?! Booooring. Plastic! Yessss!”

Toys “R” Us says: “Nature?! Booooring. Plastic! Yessss!” | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Toys R Us says: "Nature?! Booooring. Plastic! Yessss!" Via my friend Christopher: "Got to love Toys "R" Us's new advertisement. Totally portrays just the (Toys “R” Us says: “Nature?!
Tanya Benton's insight:

I am not buying toys for christmas.

 

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Australia snubs global climate talks, as Greg Hunt stays home to repeal carbon tax

Australia snubs global climate talks, as Greg Hunt stays home to repeal carbon tax | Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
AUSTRALIA will be represented by a diplomat rather than a senior minister at international climate talks in Poland next week aimed at securing an agreement to cut global carbon emissions.
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